Books and water don’t mix, but that doesn’t mean a scuba diving vacation can’t also be packed with books and book talk. Hubby and I spent a lovely vacation scuba diving in Bonaire (Netherland Antilles) in the Caribbean, near Venezuela. We stayed at Bruce Bowker’s Carib Inn, a long-time haunt of ours and other guests who appreciate its low-key, laid-back atmosphere. I brought three books on my Kindle. Turns out, I didn’t need to do that, because the Inn has a book swap cupboard (shown). I wonder how many guests actually use that offering. (I’d be afraid of starting a book I’d have to leave behind, but probably I’m unclear on the concept; that is, no one would care if I took an unfinished book on the plane when I left.)
Anyway, I think the cupboard is great. But fyi, the three books on my Kindle were that kind-of-well-known one about some guy named Grey; Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn; and Escape from Camp 14 by Blaine Harden. I’m still reading the latter and enjoyed the first two. You would think with only two dives a day, taking about five hours altogether, including prep and follow-up time, that I’d have gotten more reading done. The other great thing about a dive vacation, however, is the people you meet in the process. If you’re fortunate, you enjoy some of them enough to spend additional time with them, e.g., over dinner. Not everything is diving and reading, right?
One of the people we connected with turned out to be a librarian! Funny how I just liked her right off the bat, before I even knew her vocation. Over dinner one night she talked about her work and her place of employment, The Library Company of Philadelphia. She commented on its history, and here I’ll quote from the website: “The Library Company is America’s first successful lending library and oldest cultural institution. It was founded in 1731 by Benjamin Franklin as a subscription library supported by its shareholders, as it is to this day.” Now, really, how cool/serendipitous a new friendship is that?
Others we enjoyed extra time with included a Canadian violinist who has played and will again at Carnegie Hall, and her boyfriend, who is an IT manager with the major communications company Quebecor; a Boston-area clinical research associate and photographer; and a family from Ottawa who had all different jobs and the patriarch of which enjoyed engaging my husband in conversations about the differences in our governments and our personal points of view on items in the news, including the Trayvon Martin case in Florida.
I enjoy the concept of how “the universe” brings things to you. Who was the last person(s) you met serendipitously associated with an interest of your own?